Thanks for the response - I had a feeling that was the case. I guess most people don't use the UI to keep track of their effects chains. It's too bad, I really loved the flexibility of being able to reorder effects and get different looks quickly, without screwing up the mapping assignments. But like you say, it's a trade-off depending on how people prefer to work, and I suppose in this case I'm in the minority.
I'd like to use the dashboard, but it always frustrated me that you can't clear dashboard assignments from the dashboard itself - by focusing a dashboard control and pressing "Delete", or by right-clicking a dashboard control and getting a "Clear" option, similar to clips. Instead, you have to go to the parameter(s) that you dragged to the dashboard (which is time consuming and not always easy to remember, especially if you have multiple parameters assigned to the control), and clear it there.
So, I humbly change my request, to an easier way to clear assigned controls from a dashboard knob